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Thread: Lifting big things over high freeboard

  1. #36
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    As Jim said in his thread, which I'm glad to see has been unlocked, if either my wife or I fell overboard incapacitated, I can't imagine any way the one of us left on deck would be able to get the other back on board. I hate to think of how whoever is on board would feel about that. In really calm conditions, maybe. But with any wind and waves about, and presumably a sail half up or down or a lost sheet or some other snafu on deck, if there's an unconscious or badly injured body in the water I fear we have no real chance at all.

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  2. #37
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    Default Re: Lifting big things over high freeboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Plyboy View Post
    Slight threadjack, just was thinking about self reboarding over high freeboard... I was thinking about having a fender strung horizontal in a sling about 6" above waterline, on strong lines, and you pull yourself up to sit on it like it was a playground swing, facing the boat, then you're up out of the water and can take a breather/gather strength. Then, you should find it easy to get your foot on a rope ladder, stirrup or loop that's against the side of the boat above the chine (As opposed to the difficulty of getting a foot in one swinging under the boat when you're still down in the water) and go up and over the gunwale.
    I think you would find this almost impossible to get onto in practice, especially fully clothed.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Lifting big things over high freeboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    But with any wind and waves about, and presumably a sail half up or down or a lost sheet or some other snafu on deck, if there's an unconscious or badly injured body in the water I fear we have no real chance at all.

    Sent from my CPH1851 using Tapatalk
    Don't be defeatist.

    Chuck a lifebuoy with a dan buoy marker over so that you can find the casualty again.
    Get the boat back under control and start the motor.
    Motor up to create a lee.
    Then manoeuvre to within reach of the casualty.
    Deploy whatever recovery system you have practised.

    Break the problem down into manageable bits.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  4. #39
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    Default Re: Lifting big things over high freeboard

    Just theoretically, if a person flipped the dink while trying to board and fell in, could the dink itself be used to help with the recovery? If a dinghy has decent built-in flotation, even flooded it will support a person's weight. And if it were lashed tight to the transom, flooded upside down or right-side up, wouldn't it be a real aid in getting back on board? Not as convenient as a swim platform, but useful in a similar way?
    -Dave

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Lifting big things over high freeboard

    I don't know Dave, lashing the dinghy to the transom while in the water could be a real challenge. On top of that, the dinghy that you just flipped over is probably not going to be very stable from a re-boarding point of view.
    -Jim

    Sucker for a pretty face.
    1934 27' Blanchard Cuiser ~ Amazon, Ex. Emalu
    19'6" Caledonia Yawl ~ Sparrow

    Getting into trouble one board at a time.

  6. #41
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Lifting big things over high freeboard

    I agree with jsjpd1 here. But some of that is that I intensely dislike the tendency of both sail boats and motor boats to fit transom boarding ladders and swim platforms. In any kind of sea, boarding over the transom positions the dink very nicely to flip or have a disagreeable encounter with the swim platform or the under side of the boat's counter. Boarding over the side is so much safer that provision should be the norm.

  7. #42
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    Sep 2018
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    Auriol, France
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    Default Re: Lifting big things over high freeboard

    This is why commercial ships have the gangway/pilot ladder on a parallel body. This is not possible on small boat however.

    For sure any kind of floating device under your control will be of help. A good one, if fitted, could be a life raft. This however kind of the last chance !!

  8. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Don't be defeatist.

    Chuck a lifebuoy with a dan buoy marker over so that you can find the casualty again.
    Get the boat back under control and start the motor.
    Motor up to create a lee.
    Then manoeuvre to within reach of the casualty.
    Deploy whatever recovery system you have practised.

    Break the problem down into manageable bits.
    More realist than defeatist. We have high enough topsides that it would not be possible to reach the casualty from on deck. And if incapacitated the casualty is not going to be able to grab a rope or ladder or lifesling or anything else. And even if they could, rigging something that would allow one of us to haul the other up out of the water would in itself be quite complex. Can't just unshackle the mainsheet. Even with the sail dropped, which is quite a job, an uncontrolled boom would be no use as a lifting mechanism and would in itself be very dangerous. Parbuckling with a spare sail sounds like a thing, but in real sea conditions, with an injured person in the water and only one person on deck, I'd rate it maybe a 10%chance. I just don't see a practical way out with only 2 of us on board. If the person in the water is uninjured, no problem, position the boat and use the transom ladder.

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  9. #44
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Lifting big things over high freeboard

    Does anyone remember a movie where a swimming man overboard was hauled back aboard a large wooden ship with the grappling hook? One of those unforgettable clips for me.

  10. #45
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Lifting big things over high freeboard



    On the boat I'm building I plan to mount a davit similar to this for hauling prawn traps as well as the anchor when necessary. It will be mounted swivelling from the after port bulkhead of the cabin and will be held in place underway swung aft and parallel to the sheer with a lanyard extending from the end of the davit aft and down to a cleat. Besides the winch I plan to have a 6:1 set of blocks to use when I need to haul the heavy and unmanageable Honda 20 from the well and swing it over the side onto a dock.

    This thread has me thinking that since I will almost always be alone instead of securing it with a lanyard I would do well to have that set of blocks always hung from the end of the davit and extended and tied off to the cleat with a slip knot that can easily be slipped from the water. If I had an eye or some sort of stirrup attached I would be able to haul myself back up and aboard. If someone was unconscious in the water I could, perhaps, go in after them and haul both of us back aboard, or perhaps I could drop a sinking line noose over them somewhere and retrieve them, assuming of course that they had been behaving. Otherwise the grappling hook or a strong enough gaff would also work.

    I wonder if thoughts shared on this forum has ever saved a life.

  11. #46
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    Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA
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    Default Re: Lifting big things over high freeboard

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schweiss View Post
    The Lifesling was developed for just this type of rescue. A not uncommon scenario was the husband going into the water, the wife having learned to handle the boat gets it alongside the victim, but is unable to get the husband out of the water and he drowns in front of her.
    These rescues were at least possible sometimes on a powerboat with a swimstep, but almost impossible on a sailboat.
    Several organizations and yacht clubs developed what is now marketed as the Lifesling, which was designed to be slipped around a helpless person, and then the lifting power was from a ring on the Lifesling to a haliard high allowed a winch to be used.
    I have rigged lift points on customers vessels and made up 4:1 Vang tackles to allow someone to get a husband out of the water, we always used the inflatable Sospenders with a ring. In our cold NW waters, even a fit person is going to have a real problem getting up a swim ladder to a swimstep after 5 to 10 minutes in the water, plus weight of clothing and then any adverse health issues that may be involved.
    There are articles and videos on the Lifesling, hopefully you will never need one, but...
    The lifesling is the only man-overboard gear I have actually used. Even without the lifting tackle, it at least has the victim secured and you can lift him or her enough to keep their head out of the water. Two people aboard can lift without any tackle. The idea of dragging it and circling the person in the water also is far more effective than throwing anything in a strong wind. We keep one on the rail, and I consider the most important piece of man-overboard gear. More superior, but more complex, is the small inflatable rafts that allow the person in the water enough flotation to at least avoid hypothermia.

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